UNESCO Chair in Journalism and Communication PhD Scholarship in Public Interest Journalism


Enrolment status New students
Student type Domestic students
Level of study Higher Degree by Research
Study area Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Business and Economics, Education, Health and Behavioural Sciences, Law
HDR funding type Living stipend scholarship, Tuition Scholarship
Opening date 3 November 2019
Closing date 1 December 2019


The news media regularly cite the public interest as both a legal and ethical defense to explain their methods and motivations in investigating and publishing news. It is often associated with investigative journalism, also equated to 'quality journalism' and 'accountability journalism'. But what does the public interest mean for journalism and to journalists? There has been little close attention paid to what journalists think the public interest is, despite leading experts such as Britain’s Justice Leveson suggesting it should be routinely examined as a journalistic concept.

The research is therefore foregrounded on the following questions: What do journalists believe the public interest is? Is it relevant to the news media in the new media economy? Does it hold potentials for reinvigorating journalism and raising its status for the future? This PhD study will examine the public interest as it has been traditionally used as a defence and justification by journalists in order to first: ascertain its utility in journalistic discourse and, second; determine whether a greater understanding of the public interest by journalists could provide those in the field a clearer way of articulating what they do, why they do it, and its capacity to strengthen quality journalism in liberal western democracies.


To be eligible, you must meet the entry requirements for a higher degree by research.

Applications are closed.

Before you get started

If this scholarship has rules, download and read them.

How to apply

To apply for admission and scholarship, follow the link on the upper right of this page. There is no separate application for scholarship because you will be given the opportunity to request scholarship consideration on the application for admission.

Before submitting an application you should:

When you apply, please ensure that under the scholarships and collaborative study section you:

  1. Select ‘My higher degree is not collaborative’
  2. Select 'I am applying for, or have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship'.
  3. Select the appropriate scholarship type, or select ‘other’ and type in ‘GRESTE’ in the 'Name of scholarship' field.

See an example of what you have to do

Learn more about applying for a higher degree by research at UQ

Selection criteria

  • A bachelor’s degree with at least honours class IIA or equivalent from approved universities, which includes a relevant research component; or
  • A research master’s degree; or
  • A coursework master’s degree and an overall GPA (grade point average) equivalent to 5.65 on the 7-point UQ scale, which includes a relevant research component; or
  • A postgraduate degree of at least one year full-time equivalent with an overall GPA (grade point average) equivalent to 5.0 on the 7-point UQ scale, together with demonstrated research experience equivalent to honours IIA will be considered for PhD entry on a case by case basis; or
  • A bachelor’s degree plus at least two years of documented relevant research experience, including research publications.

The ideal student will have an academic and a professional background in journalism. 

Applications are closed.


Richard Murray
07 3346 8262
Applications are closed.

Terms and conditions

Read the policy on UQ Research Scholarships.

A domestic part-time student with carer’s responsibilities, a medical condition or a disability, which prevents them from studying full time may be eligible for scholarship consideration, on a case by case basis.

Applications are closed.